Text by Korina Krithara
Picture by Korina Krithara
During the summertime in Greece Anastasia, a 25 years old business student in the Netherlands, had returned to her country to solve the issue of safety. She was sitting on a hot day at a café waiting for her friend. ‘One day we learned about Covid-19,’ says Anastasia. She had received a vast amount of information and at the same time she was trying to resume her activities. ‘Last year I made it as a student, but I did not want that moment of closure anymore.’
As her friend and personal trainer Julia, 27 years old, walked in, said that the current state of updated cases of corona shows that we should be prepared for a number of restrictions, so we need to stay active. As far as it concerns training, we should be practicing with small teams. ‘Our targeted approach is to get people do positive things and trust us that gymnastics is a way to protect ourselves from anxiety,’ says Julia. ‘My boyfriend and I have been together too long’, says Anastasia. ‘I wanted to be part of new occasions even digital, attend live bars, theatres, gymnastics and exhibitions. I was even tired of our favorite movie and song.’
‘I am trying to spend some more time outside; going on walks, playing with my dog and I have tried to make connections with friends through social media. There I once saw an ad saying [If you like cuba libre and salsa and you’re into yoga, if you like taking dinner under the moon and if you want to share your passion for music then I am the love that you’ve looked for],’ says Anastasia. ‘I didn’t think about my boyfriend, but me and my boyfriend had fallen into the same dull routine. During the pandemic I watched stories hosted by my friends based on the city where I live which made me feel connected with the network I have created.’ She acknowledges that staying at home has been an adjustment and made her seamless connection with social media so important that she preferred time-sharing with her network instead of going out with her boyfriend.
Definitely, young people between 18-25 years old, chose the use of internet during the pandemic to manage the unusual conditions, with both men and women reaching 61% of use. Media apps and social media are very important when people between 20-25 years old want to make connections who want to end up having sex. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are very popular for social interaction. Almost 68% of users of these applications in Greece used them less often to flirt during the pandemic. As attended by psychologists of Psychoeducation and Family Interventions Clinic of the First Psychiatric Clinic of the Medical School of the University of Athens, the degree of threat for the spread of virus increased the degree of pessimism and the loss of hope for the future. So she wrote an answer to the social media ad saying ‘ Yes, I like cuda libres and salsa, I’m not much into rain, I’m into pool and lemonade, I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow at the sunset.’ So she walked in the place and then they laughed for a moment ‘Ah it’s you’ and she said ‘I never knew that you liked cuba libres and salsa and pool and lemonade, come with me and escape.’
Home schooling and the adoption of home technology created alternative streams for the sake of socializing with friends. Especially social media allows access to contact details, letting people’s personality shine through. People organize chats of newer friends, make connections, speak about their experiences in quarantine. They do it because they feel connected with the city. Also, excitement about new virtual reality is augmented through social media apps which are more frequently improved. Even in small places like the city that Anastasia lives, small cafes became a failure because they were unable to escape the reputation of social media.
‘Life is very short, like a semester in college. Before you realize it, it is ending,” says Anastasia, who believes that everyone should cherish the moments and enjoy their lives. The situation with the pandemic does offer a thoughtful look of how the world around us has caused us to be resigned. Both Anastasia and her boyfriend are navigating an uncertain world but in the light of the pandemic they see the need for each other. These networks are just the basic way of entertainment to facilitate any kind of unexpected situation. Anastasia says, ‘Stereotypically here in Greece people would say that if you are out right now while quarantining, you should enjoy other kind of entertainment, go for a walk or exercise, and not get sent home.’